Despite a proposal from the Department of Transportation to cut $81 million in costs, regulatory burdens still escalated this week. Annual burdens were $245 million, compared to $829 million in benefits; paperwork grew more than 2.5 million hours. EPA’s methane emissions standards for landfills led the week. The per capita regulatory burden for 2015 is $424.
Maybe you missed it in the hoopla surrounding Medicare’s 50th Anniversary, but last month the Medicaid program also turned 50. Medicaid—intended as a safety net to ensure low-income and disabled individuals would have access to health care—is in some ways the forgotten child of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 43.8 million adults suffer from a mental illness which represents nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population
Progressives claim that employees are working harder and producing more, but their wages are not going up. The evidence for this is the claim that since the 1970s growth in labor productivity has vastly outpaced growth in real compensation.
The Department of Defense (DOD) provides health care for 9.5 million military service members, retirees, and family members through military treatment facilities (MTFs) and a self-funded, self-administered insurance program called TRICARE. The mission of the military health care system is to maintain the health of military personnel, and their families, so that they are capable of carrying out their missions, and to ensure that military medical personnel are prepared to deliver all necessary health care services to any service member injured in battle.
Today, a major party leader released a policy plan for an economic renewal in rural America. Within the plan are proposals for increasing capital to rural businesses, lowering energy costs, and strengthening the Renewable Fuel Standard. All may sound great, but the devil is in the details. Most are simply plans that we have already seen suggested and fail.
Three times per year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) updates its projections for the nation’s bottom line: a 10-year estimate of the federal government’s tax collections and spending practices and the gap between them. While much of Washington is on vacation, the CBO diligently prepares its August update, a sober reminder for policymakers that when they get back from August recess, they still have budget problems to solve.
While advocating for policies like raising the minimum wage and expanding overtime pay coverage, many assert that compensation has not grown with labor productivity. They claim that since the 1970s there has been a stark divergence between the growth in worker pay and the growth in labor productivity. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), productivity has grown eight times faster than worker compensation in recent years, as productivity rose 64.9 percent and hourly compensation only grew 8.2 percent from 1979 to 2013. Taken at face value, these numbers are alarming. They suggest that rewards from productivity growth are going almost exclusively to company profits and those workers at the top, while regular workers are neglected. Fortunately, the putative trend is based on a number of analytical flaws, such as comparing labor productivity of the entire economy to compensation for private sector production and nonsupervisory workers. The result is a story that simply is not true.
Innovation and technological advancement offer tremendous opportunities for future improvements in the nation’s standard of living.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a series of proposed rules seeking to update methane emissions standards. The first set focuses on containing methane emissions from landfills. The second focuses on emissions from oil and natural gas wells.